I had an interest in unexplained phenomena by the age of nine and loved to listen to my parents read ghost stories, or hear stories around the campfire at Girl Scouts, but did not think that I would ever see a real ghost myself. One evening that would change.
I was eleven years old and living in my parent's home in the Brookside neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri. Brookside is an old neighborhood with large Craftsman-style homes, and I am sure there are many spirits roaming around there but, on this night, it would be a relative that I would see.
After a Saturday evening at home having dinner with the family and playing Monopoly, my younger sister and I headed to bed in our shared room upstairs. Her bed was across the room from mine. It was dark that night with a bit of moonlight coming in through the windows. We were a little bit wound up and were just talking softly when suddenly a mist began to form about six feet in the air just beyond the foot of my bed. I just quietly watched it form into the head of a man with clear features. It had a narrow nose, high forehead, and piercing eyes which seemed to stare right through me. I kept my composure, curious about what this was that I was looking at, when the head began to talk. I could not hear anything but could clearly see words being formed by the mouth. It was speaking to me!
At that point, I needed confirmation and asked my sister "Do you see that thing floating at the foot of my bed?" My sister opened her eyes and looked to see the same thing, only being a bit more fragile than me, she screamed. Then I screamed. My father and brother ran up the stairs, flipped on the light, and dad said angrily, "What is wrong?" The head disappeared when the light went on. I did not know if I should be scared or disappointed that it was gone.
We explained what happened and my father asked me what the apparition looked like, then went downstairs to get a photo album that I had never seen before. He asked me to look through it and see if anyone in it looked like the head of the person I saw. Sure enough, after browsing through I stopped at a picture and said, "That is him!" It turned out that it was my father's father who died in 1950, six years before I was born.
That was my "in your face" introduction to the spirit world. I have had many encounters with ghosts since then, but I will never forget the first.